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Company (2007)

by Max Barry

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1,0643213,209 (3.66)22
Nestled among Seattle's skyscrapers, The Zephyr Holdings Building is a bleak rectangle topped by an orange-and-black logo that gives no hint of Zephyr's business. Lack of clarity, it turns out, is Zephyr's defining characteristic. The floors are numbered in reverse. No one has ever seen the CEO or glimpsed his office on the first (i.e., top) floor. Yet every day people clip on their ID tags, file into the building, sit at their desks, and hope that they're not about to be outsourced. Stephen Jones, a young recruit with shoes so new they squeak, reports for his first day in the Training Sales Department and finds it gripped by a crisis involving the theft of a donut. In short order, the guilty party is identified and banished from the premises and Stephen is promoted from assistant to sales rep. He does his best to fit in with his fellow workers--among them a gorgeous receptionist who earns more than anyone else, and a sales rep who's so emotionally involved with her job that she uses relationship books as sales manuals--but Stephen is nagged by a feeling that the company is hiding something. Something that explains why when people are fired, they are never heard from again; why every manager has a copy of the Omega Management System; and, most of all, why nobody in the company knows what it does. "Always entertaining, Dufris reads this story of corporate revolt with comic timing and tongue firmly planted in cheek, making it an ideal audiobook to enjoy on one's way to work." --AudioFile… (more)

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I finished reading Max Barry’s latest book, Company, while I was at the gym on Wednesday. I usually don’t read books while I work out, only magazines or newspapers. But, I simply couldn’t put this book down. Whether I was nodding my head in understanding or laughing my butt off, I loved this book from the first to the last page. I’d read [b:Jennifer Government|5297|The Picture of Dorian Gray|Oscar Wilde|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1204865529s/5297.jpg|1858012], his second novel, last year. I liked that book a lot but felt it was a bit rushed and Hollywood-y at the end. His new book didn’t suffer from a lackluster denouement.

A recent business school grad named Jones gets hired at Zephyr, a Seattle-based holding company. Eager to start using all his fresh academic knowledge, Jones jumps headfirst into his first corporate experience, only to discover that what he read in his books doesn’t always match what happens day to day in corporate cube farms. Illuminated by fluorescent lighting, Jones starts to work his way around this strange company. He’s unwilling to just be a corporate monkey, repeating task after worthless task in the monotonous grind of 9-5.

For anyone who’s worked in a cube farm, or worked for a large company, this book is a must read. The caustic views of human resources, senior management, administrative assistants, and front-line managers will have you laughing constantly. You might also shed a tear, knowing that you too have been in many of the situations where Jones finds himself. ( )
  drew_asson | Mar 22, 2020 |
This is our book club book for March. It seems like if you work in the corporate world, it would probably be pretty funny. I'm pretty far removed from that world, though, so it's kindof tedious. Putting it down, moving on to something else. ( )
  CiaraCat | Jan 9, 2020 |
A novel about the absurdity of corporate life, and the soullessness of companies that treat their workers as expendable, exploitable assets, rather than as human beings. The satirical humor is decent, though never laugh-out-loud funny. In fact, on the whole, it may be more depressing-because-it's-true than it is funny-because it's true.

There is also something of a sense of over-familiarity to it, although an interesting twist a hundred pages or so in makes it feel at least a little less like yet another variant on Office Space, which is good. ( )
  bragan | Sep 16, 2018 |
Hilarious and absurd corporate satire about a company where things just are not quite what they seemed. Things make less and less sense, until they do. Fun book. ( )
  trile1000 | Jul 1, 2018 |
A re-read, because this book is too damn hilarious. Barry mocks large corporations, how they function, and how they treat their employees. I can't say too much about the plot because the main idea is a big twist that is too fun to discover as you go. If you've ever worked in an office, you must read this one and feel better about your job. Or read it if you want to laugh. Or just read it. ( )
1 vote howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
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For Hewlett-Packard
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Monday morning and there's one less donut than there should be.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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